Niger Speaker to chair Francophonie Parliament in 2003

Paris- France (PANA) -- Niger National Assembly Speaker Mahamane Ousmane will head the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly (AFP) beginning July 2003, according to official sources in Paris.
"As stipulated in our regulations, the APF president always comes from Africa or North America.
Pursuant to this rule, Mahamane Ousmane of Niger will become APF president in July 2003," APF secretary general Jacques Legendre told PANA.
Ousmane, who is currently APF first vice president, will take over from Jean-Pierre Charbonaud of Quebec.
APF, a pillar of the International Francophonie Organisation (OIF), has of recent been in the spotlight on account of its mediation efforts in various crisis, including Madagascar's post- election imbroglio between incumbent president Didier Ratsiraka and challenger Marc Ravalomanana.
To initiate its members in the basics of diplomacy, AFP also organised a series of training seminars, the next of which would hold in Dakar, Senegal on 19 March 2002.
APF has a section in all French-speaking African countries excepting Rwanda and DR Congo, whose Parliaments were not elected under acceptable conditions, according to APF.
"We are waiting for the Parliaments of these two countries to be elected in conditions that meet the norms of freedom and democracy, to re-instate them," APF sources in Paris indicated.

11 march 2002 13:31:00




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